Faru Team Burra Update: 01 July 2008

Faru Team Burra Update: 01 July 2008

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Participants:

Nicodemus Kivindyo – team leader Samuel Odero Peter Wambua John Malonza Samuel Masaku Rajab Fundi Joseph Kariuki

Area of operation:

During the month of July, the Burra team covered the following areas: Sagala ranch, Lualenyi ranch, Ngutuni ranch, Mwatate sisal estate, Kulalu ranch, Saltlick ranch, and Kishushe ranch in the Ziwani area.

204 SNARES RECOVERED

2 ARRESTS

FINDINGS. During the months operations the team lifted a total of 204 snares.

One hundred and one of the snares targeted large game with 103 snares targeting small game. The team was able to arrest two poachers at Kishushe ranch. We also came across four carcasses from a Dikdik, a Zebra a Giraffe and a Hartebeest.

Observable evidence: The month of July recorded a slight decrease in the general number of snares lifted, with 214 snares being lifted last month.

However there was an increase in the large number of snares lifted with 101 large snares being lifted this month with only 23 large snares being lifted last month.
There was also an increase in the number of carcasses being found with 4 being found this month and only two found last month. Furthermore all of the carcasses that were found were those of large game.

Sagala ranch This ranch is very important as it servers as a migratory route for animals migrating from the Tsavo east ecosystem to the Tsavo west ecosystem and the surrounding ranches. The team lifted a total of 31 snares, 6 of which targeting small game, with the majority, 25, targeting large game. The team is concerned about the increase in the amount of logging and charcoal burning taking place in this ranch.

The increase in the rate at which logging is taking place could cause the vegetation cover to change from wooden grass land to savannah grass land which accommodates grazing animals whilst discouraging browsing mammals such as elephants. We came across a poachers hideout while patrolling the area.

Lualenyi ranch This ranch is rich in biodiversity (flora and fauna) since virtually all animals can be seen here. The vegetation cover is lush and plentiful attracting a wide range of animals from the surrounding ranches. A total of 15 snares were retrieved all of which target large game which is in indication that all large game that browse and graze in the area are under threat. The team came across the carcass of a zebra. The flesh had been removed and placed to dry in a tree top.

Ngutuni ranch This ranch borders Tsavo East National Park and is an important animal dispersal area. For this reason the team has to keep a vigilant eye on what is taking place in the ranch in order to ensure the safety of all the animals moving in and out of the ranch. Forty nine snares were lifted in the Ngutuni area, 18 of which targeted large game and 31 targeting small game. The increase in the number of snares, especially large snares, is a problem for such an important area.

Mwatate sisal estate This is a private ranch located at the heart of the taita/taveta district and borders several ranches such as Mgeno ranch and Mkuki ranch both of which have large populations of animals in them which move into the ranch, especially during the dry season, in search of the lush vegetation found there. Ten snares were lifted four of which targeted large game and six targeting small game.

Kulalu ranch This is a government ranch which is located at the southern part of Tsavo East National Park stretching up to the Galana River. No serious poaching activities were sighted during our foot patrols this month with only three snares targeting large game being retrieved.

Salt lick ranch This ranch is rich in both biodiversity. Tourism in the area is doing well. However in terms of poaching the area has been declared a hotspot due to the fact that whenever we patrol the ranch we come across a carcass, which is usually that of a large animal. This fact was substantiated by the fact that we came across two carcasses this month, a giraffe and a hartebeest both of which had been killed by snares.

Thirty six snares were retrieved by the team all of which targeted large. Ten of the lifted snares, targeted giraffes and had been set on top of acacia trees where giraffes prefer to browse.

Kishushe ranch / Kisima area A joint operation in the above areas was carried out between the Burra team and the Ziwani team.

During our joint operation the team members were able to arrest two poachers who were in possession of snares. The poachers were booked at Voi police station.
A total of sixty snares targeting small game were lifted. The arrested poachers gave us important information about the poaching patterns in the area and the use of snares. This information will help the Ziwani team track other culprits and apprehend them.

Community work The team organized environmental education programs through video shows which were presented to two schools, Hariesta high school and Ikanga primary school.

The team also participated in the planting of Vetiver grass along the Voi River, at the Kaloleni Bridge, as a means to curb the erosion of the river banks.
This initiative was a follow up to world environment day. The community members participated in the event together with schools within the Voi area. Everybody appreciated the initiative and vowed to embrace it.

Report by Nicodemus Kivindyo